PORK BELLY!

Are you excited? Well, you should be! Pork belly is fabulous when cooked the right way. I’ve never been able to cook it the right way. Bummer. I’ve tried and failed at least 4-5 times. But chin up, I’m trying again. I found a wonderful and EASY recipe on a lovely woman named Bee’s website, Rasa Malaysia. I love her website. Go check her website out for the recipe, and TONS of other awesome recipes, I’ve never been disappointed by her recipes (I even have her book).

Here are some pictures of the belly in the works

So pretty. See the spice on the side?

So pretty. See the spice on the side?

That's a lot of salt for one little belly!

That’s a lot of salt for one little belly!

All ready to go. My oven element looks like purple neon. Cool!

All ready. My oven element looks like purple neon.

So I didn’t follow the recipe exactly. I didn’t use the garlic. I just wanted my belly to taste like pork. Nothing against garlic of course (I love the stuff, can’t get enough of it….well except in pork belly I guess), but I like my pork belly simple. I did use the Chinese 5-spice though, that stuff is magic!

Looking good, only 40 min to go!

Looking good, only 40 min to go!

The salt crust after I took it off

The salt crust after I took it off

Succulent, gorgeous pork.

Succulent, gorgeous pork.

 

So, what do you think? Pretty – no, beautiful. Tasty too!

Homemade All Natural Deodorant

Hello hello hello. So how does everyone feel about homemade beauty products? I used to not really feel anything at all about them until I started to research the ingredients listed on their bottles and I kept getting more and more concerned the more I learned. I really never thought I’d be so crunchy as to make my own deodorant but hey, cancer and Alzheimer’s suck and I’m not about to keep encouraging their arrival. Among the TONS of other carcinogens you can find in health care and beauty products, aluminum is a pretty nasty one (look it up people). Aluminum is in virtually every antiperspirant, it’s what plugs up your arm pit so you don’t sweat. No, I’m not making antiperspirant. Your body sweats for a reason. I wouldn’t plug up my bum because what comes out of it is stinky, so I decided it was time to stop doing that to my arm pits. We sweat to rid ourselves of nasty. I don’t want that nasty inside me! Okay, so anyway, I’m getting off the soap box and into my kitchen to whip up a batch of deodorant!

I’ve been researching the topic for months. MONTHS. What spurred me to get my butt in gear and actually make some of my own deodorant? I ran out of my store bought stuff. Told you I can be lazy! I have looked up so many recipes online for homemade deodorant I really didn’t know which one to use or which one I would like. So I ended making up my own recipe, based off of the many wonderful ones already out there. I’ll share my concoction with you. I’ve used grams to measure everything here as using teaspoons and such would have been much more difficult because the ingredients are used in such small amounts, plus, when the oils are solid they are very difficult to accurately measure. If you don’t already have one then shame on you (I’m so mean but haven’t we already been over this?), go get yourself a nice little digital kitchen scale already and you’ll be glad you did (then you can make this recipe).

Homemade All Natural Deodorant

25 grams beeswax (got mine here)

60 grams organic virgin coconut oil (I use Tropical Traditions, but any will do as long as it’s unrefined)

5-10 drops vitamin E oil (I just punctured a vitamin E capsule and used that)

40 grams organic unrefined shea butter (I got mine here)

20 grams avocado oil (or almond, olive, jojoba, etc., minimally processed/refined is best; I got mine here about 2 years ago)

15 grams arrowroot powder (or corn starch, organic is better, I used Bob’s Red Mill arrowroot powder)

15 grams bentonite clay (or diatomaceous  earth, I got my clay at a local store)

5 grams baking soda (or more, I used only 5g because baking soda can be irritating)

10 drops tea tree (melaluca) essential oil (you can use many other essential oils but I didn’t have any other ones and tea tree oil has lots of health benefits, I used NOW brand tea tree oil in a little bottle I bought over a decade ago)

Combine all oils and waxes (except the essential oil) together in a glass bowl and microwave (or melt over a double boiler-microwave is quicker) until melted. Add all other ingredients and stir well until all lumps are gone and mixture is smooth and combined. Pour into your containers. Allow to cool and use.

A pile of the oils, waxes, and powders I used

I got these awesome empty deodorant tubes from Elements Bath and Body (and no, I’m not an affiliate of any of the companies I’ve mentioned and do not make a single cent from mentioning them, I just wanted to share them with you) They twist up just like the store bought ones do (I made sure they are BPA free, of course)! You could recycle your old deodorant tubes as well, which is what I would have done if I had saved any….shame on me. Sorry the pics are bad.

tubetube2

 

The finished product! I’m SO excited to try my new homemade deodorant. Again, pretty crappy pics here, sorry! I only made a half batch so I could test it out and it filled 1 1/2 of my cool containers.

filled tubes

 

Let me know if you have ever attempted anything like this and share your experiences and recipes! Don’t want to go through all of the trouble of making deodorant yourself? I’m starting a line of all natural body products and I would love to sell some to you! You can leave a post here or contact me on the website and we can talk. I will be custom making many products. What am I making next? Homemade all natural cocoa butter lip balm! Exciting!

© 2014 Bowls Full of Yummy. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bowls Full of Yummy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Sharing frugal websites

Sorry. I really should post more often if I ever want anyone to come to my blog! The truth is I’ve just been doing things like I normally do, cooking, cleaning (as well as being lazy watching my favorite shows)….but I forget that I can share these normal what-I-do-everyday things with you. Just because I’ve cooked something 20 times doesn’t mean I can’t share it with you! So I’m going to try really hard to post more stuff. Really.

Okay, new topic. Like saving money? Duh, who doesn’t? Well, I’m going to share a couple of my favorite frugal websites with you today. I like cookbooks. I’ve had hundreds upon hundreds of them throughout my life, no joke. But as my tastes, skill level, and food needs have changed I’ve had to get rid of ones I can no longer need and get new ones I can use. My absolute favorite way do to this is with paperbackswap.com. If you have never heard of them I suggest you go check them out immediately (well, you could finish reading this post first, but I’ll wait)! I have used several book swapping sites but paperbackswap.com is by far my favorite and has always been the safest and easiest way to exchange books. The great thing about paperbackswap.com is that they have any and every type of book imaginable. I’ve got great cookbooks and DIY books, books for my husband (he’s a big novel reader), educational/text books, and tons of great kids books for my daughter at several different age levels. The deal with this site is that you list all of the books you no longer want from your collection and then browse for books you do want from their collection of thousands upon thousands of books listed; when someone requests a book from you, you print out the handy pre-filled mailing label, add postage (they even have an option for buying postage from their site but they charge a small fee so I usually use my own stamps or buy a shipping label from PayPal), and send the book along, when the person receives their book in the mail they mark it “received” on the site and you get a book credit you can then use to request your own book. Nifty!

Oh, and guess what? Paperbackswap.com has a sister site for DVDs (and Blu-ray too!), it’s swapadvd.com! That means you can get not just books, but DVDs for just the cost of postage! I have used this site a lot and have gotten (doesn’t it seem like “gotten” is improper English? It’s not, I looked it up) hard to find and rare TV series and anime from swapadvd.com. I have saved so much money with swapadvd.com and I think it’s an even better deal than the books. Where can you find a DVD or Blu-ray for $3.00? Even Goodwill charges more than that! Goodwill is such a rip off these days…..$8.99 for a pair of ugly 80’s jeans, REALLY? Sorry, I know they do a lot of good for the communities they are in and that many of the people they employ are differently-abled (which I truly think is wonderful) and not able to get jobs at other places; but those wonderful things aside, Goodwill has become so expensive and department store-like, they even sell a great deal of brand new items. They over price most of their goods; I can usually find a brand new equivalent at Wal-Mart or the dollar store. One can argue that buying used is the way to go in terms of reducing waste and such and I totally agree, but I’m poor…..and sometimes, sadly, needing to save money trumps saving the earth. It makes me feel bad saying that but it’s true. There are a lot more earth friendly things I could be doing, but contrary to popular belief, many of them are quite costly and therefore prohibitive to people on a tight budget. ANYWAY, I was talking about saving money on DVDs so let’s get back to that. The premise is basically the same as the book site, but some DVDs are more than just one credit. Each disk is valued at one credit so if you want that special edition with the extras disk that’ll be 2 credits. Want a DVD set? How ever many disks there are in the set is how many credits it will cost. Now, you have to be careful here because sometimes a set with a lot of disks will end up costing more than just going and buying the set new. I figure each credit is worth $3-$4 (although my average price to send a DVD has been closer to $2, maybe $3 but I have my own scale and use PayPal shipping whenever I can) I’ve always gotten a great deal and like I said, I have found very rare and expensive DVD sets and anime on the site (I’ve even received brand new still-in-the-shrink wrap DVDs before!) that have made it possible for me to keep my family entertained for very little money. I encourage you to go and check out these sites as soon as you can! I believe both sites even offer a free first-time credit for creating a listing of the books/DVDs you want to swap when you first join. Happy swapping!

P.S. PayPal shipping is great, they charge absolutely no additional fees, you don’t need someone to order something from you in order to print a label, you get FREE (or very inexpensive, like .18) tracking, and they even let you print media mail postage! I use this link: https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_ship-now

 

Oh and by the way, I am not being compensated for this post in any way, paperbackswap.com, swapadvd.com, and paypal.com have no idea I’m writing this post about them. All opinions are my own, I just love these sites and wanted to share them with you.

© 2014 Bowls Full of Yummy. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bowls Full of Yummy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.